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Swell & surf: Stronger knowledge to drive your product cycles

Feb 16, 2023
8:00 am

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Swell & surf: Stronger knowledge to drive your product cycles


While it may look cool to gracefully surf through your product cycle, often we’re only thinking about the wave we’re on and the solution we are making. Assumptions we unconsciously make about people warp our solutions, and the mindset of having only one product for everyone causes serious, lasting, or systemic harm. While we can’t change the rhythm of the product waves, we can power up the energy (knowledge) driving those waves. Inclusive design strategy seeks to balance the needs of the organization with a scalable people-first mindset, focusing on the swell out at sea once a year or so.

In this presentation, Indi will show you how to empower people who have a variety of thinking styles by creating a variety of solutions. She will talk about building knowledge about the swell at sea:

  • How you can resist assumptions
  • How you can listen deeply for interior cognition using a sensor in your brain
  • How synthesizing the results lets the patterns emerge
  • How these patterns become the framework upon which you align your solutions & see the gaps
  • How you can measure the different levels of harm you are doing to people who don’t fit “the average user” model or follow the same journey

Our speaker

Indi is a researcher who coaches, writes, and teaches about inclusive product strategy. Her work is rooted in the problem space where the focus is on people, not users. Indi pioneered opportunity maps, mental model diagrams, and thinking styles. Her way of approaching the problem allows teams to truly pay attention to people, without letting cognitive bias and assumptions creep in. Indi has written three books, Time to ListenPractical Empathy and Mental Models. She is at work on another book in the series, Assumptions Aside, that will cover thinking styles. She builds knowledge and community via a series of live online advanced courses about the importance of pushing the boundaries of your perspective. She was one of the founders of Adaptive Path, the pioneering UX agency. You can follow her on Twitter @indiyoung and access many resources on her website as well as at